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Sunny1008

How do I defend myself to parents?

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Sunny1008

Hello all,

 

I need some coping tips/defense strategies to use on my parents. I come from a high-achieving family, and my parents just DO NOT understand the w/d that I am going through, and they do not understand why I am not functioning at my top level. They are putting so much pressure on me to have a good, stable, high-paying job, get in a relationship, etc...when they do not even realize that I am just struggling to survive today!

 

How can I defend and preserve MYSELF???

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Nadia

This is a tough one... I find as well that there is general disbelief about what I describe that I am going through even with close friends and family. I see my parents every day, and my mother has come to realize that something really is wrong (my father seems to think I just need to get over it and that it's just my regular depression and anxiety about life stuff)... but even then sometimes she thinks I can handle more than I can (for that matter, so do I! It's hard to find the right balance of how much to push forward and how much to take it easy). It doesn't help that there is not a whole lot of literature out there supporting us, and what is out there can be considered "fringe"...

 

Coincidentally, I just read Alto's link on dysautonomia... it helps to read. Maybe you could tell your parents it appears that you have a version of this? Maybe if you can NAME it... I wonder if there are books out there that could help (aside from ones on actual AD withdrawal). I tried doing a quick search, and would be curious to read Your Symptoms are Real: What to Do When Your Doctor Says Nothing Is Wrong. If it has info to convince a doctor, maybe it could help with how to communicate to family as well?

 

In the end, whether they understand or not, they're just going to have to deal with it. You don't really owe them any explanations. You can just simply state over and over, like a broken record, calmly, your point of view. A book that really helped me with communicating stuff like this is Harriet Lerner's The Dance of Anger (also the Dance of Intimacy and the Dance of of Deception... they kind of all talk about the same kind of communication strategies, all EXTREMELY helpful).

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Sunny1008

Thanks for this advice, Nadia. What is difficult about this is that I am having to live with my mom right now, and she is the one who is so negative toward me. It is really hard being around her negativity, and so I think I need to tell her that either she has to stop it, or I am going to have to move out of her house.

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CymbaltaDrone

If you can't change your parents, then you need to change yourself. As unjust as this seems at first, you are ultimately the only variable you have any control over in this picture, so trying to change anything or anyone else has a high probability of ending up being a waste of your time and energy. It is good to note right up front that the decision to focus on changing you instead of them is completely unrelated to who or what is "right" or "wrong" (ultimately an exercise in futility but highly appealing to any obsessive tendencies you may have). What it's really about is trying something different when your current strategy isn't working. Anyway...

 

Perhaps you can inoculate yourself against the lack of support from home by finding ways to connect with support outside of your home. If you have been well loved, appreciated and supported and had good experiences during the day, then it WILL be easier to not let the negativity at home hinder your path to wellness.

 

A tool for approaching this in a structure manner is to complete a wellness recovery action plan (WRAP). This is basically an excercise in identifying waht you need in your life to promote wellness, and then intentionally including these elements on a daily basis. You can really simplify this to begin with by focusing on doing just 1 or 2 (or however many it takes) of these activities each day, whichever comes your way each day. There's a link to a website about the WRAP creator and another link to a free digital copy of a WRAP personal workbook on my introduction page under one of my posts.

 

If you can afford it and have acces to it, you can try some CBT (very common) and/or DBT (more common for borderline personality disorder but that therapist-client alliance appeals to me).

 

Are you near Dallas, Calgary or Vancouver? Try the Choices program. Also a link to this on my page.

 

Some Sources of Help, Support and Information That Have Helped Me

 

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